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Nurse Educ Today. 2000 Feb;20(2):164-70.

Student nurses' understanding of caring science.

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  • 1Faculty of Education, Abo Akademi University, PB 311 65101 Vasa, Finland.


The aim of this study is to investigate student nurses' understanding of caring science theory and Eriksson's caring process model. The study is 'qualitative' by its nature, and grounded theory is taken as the main point of departure. Data for the cross-section study are collected through individual interviews with 60 student nurses. Groups of students are interviewed both at the beginning (n = 27) and at the end (n = 33) of nursing training. As a result of the analysis, qualitative similarities and differences in students' ways of understanding caring science are found, and a very distinctive trend of development could be identified. Superficial understanding of caring science was prevalent among students at the beginning, while most students at the end of the nursing training had developed deeper understanding of the theory. The results also show that many students at the end of their education have difficulties in seeing and understanding the relation between the caring science theory and the practical caring reality. In order to increase students' understanding of the relation between theory and practice, it is important to pay more attention to what theoretical tools students are given in nursing training.

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